Little change to Erika; Jimena makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika remains weak and disorganized, and the future track and intensity of the storm remain highly uncertain. The center has jumped several times over the past 12 hours, and now lies exposed to view, west of the main area of heavy thunderstorms. Radar animations out of Martinique show little organization of the echoes, and satellite imagery shows no low-level spiral bands or upper-level outflow. Wind shear analyses from the University of Wisconsin diagnose a moderate 10 - 15 knots of shear over Erika, a decrease from yesterday. SSTs are warm, 29°C. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have found a slight increase in the surface winds, up to 45 mph. They noted that the surface center was displaced 12 miles north of the center they found at 1500 feet, which is the sign of a disorganized storm undergoing wind shear.

The forecast for Erika
Erika is embedded in a weak steering current pattern, and the storm's current state of disorganization is allowing the center to make random jumps as it reforms near the heaviest thunderstorm activity. This makes for a low-confidence forecast. The future track of the storm will depend upon how strong the storm gets over the next few days. A stronger Erika will extend higher into the atmosphere and be steered more to the northwest by upper-level winds. A weaker Erika will be steered more by the low-level winds, which will keep the storm on a more westerly track. The intensity forecast models did a poor job with Tropical Storm Danny last week, and appear to be repeating that poor performance with Erika. All of the major intensity forecast models predict substantial strengthening of Erika. This seems unlikely to occur, given the storm's current disorganization, and the predicted increase in wind shear along the path of Erika to 20 - 25 knots 3 - 5 days from now. The more southerly than expected track of the storm also brings the possibility that Erika will encounter the high mountains of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The GFS, GFDL, and Canadian models predict Erika will pass near Puerto Rico on Friday, then move over Hispaniola on Saturday. Erika in its current weak state would probably not survive an encounter with these islands. A wide range of scenarios is still possible for Erika, from outright dissipation (as forecast by the GFS, Canadian, and ECMWF models) to intensification to a Category 3 hurricane (as forecast by the HWRF model). Erika is a long-term threat to the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast if it is still around five days from now. Potential landfall locations range from Florida on Tuesday to North Carolina on Wednesday. The NOGAPS model has Erika potentially missing the U.S. entirely, scooting northwards between North Carolina and Bermuda. My current expectation is that Erika will dissipate on Saturday when it encounters Hispaniola.


Figure 1. Afternoon image of Tropical Storm Erika. The swirl of clouds just west of Guadeloupe island is the center. This center was what I had labeled a "false center" in this morning's post, and has taken over as the main center this afternoon.

Hurricane Jimena hits Baja
Hurricane Jimena made lanndfall on Mexico's Baja Peninsula late this morning near Cabo San Lazaro as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. Jimena is the 2nd strongest hurricane to hit Baja's west coast since record keeping began in 1949. The only stronger storm was Hurricane Norbert, which made landfall in 2008 on the central Baja coast with sustained winds of 105 mph. Jimena has now weakened to a Category 1 storm, and will continue to weaken as it hits colder waters and interacts with land. No deaths or major damage have been reported from the storm.


Figure 2. Hurricane Jimena on Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2009, as seen by NASA's MODIS instrument. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

California fire webcams
As I discussed in yesterday morning's post, you can use our wundermap for Los Angeles with the fire layer turned on to see where the fire and smoke are located, and track the temperatures and winds during today's air pollution event. We also have two webcams with views of the fire: Altadena and Tujunga.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Hmm.

This is interesting:

W - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 03 SEP 2009 Time : 091500 UTC
Lat : 16:30:38 N Lon : 62:43:43 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.0 /1002.3mb/ 45.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.0 3.2 3.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.3mb

Center Temp : -60.8C Cloud Region Temp : -60.7C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.62 ARC in BLACK
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.68 ARC in BLACK
at Lat: 15:42:36 N Lon: 62:19:11 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.7T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Hey

Tried hard to get up Hwy 1 yesterday to Cuidad Conceptione, but I could not find a ride.

Drat...

Leaving Cabo this AM. Back home this PM

I did get some good footage at Cerritos Beach.

Once home, I'll get Experience Hurricane Jimena in the can and on YouTube for everyone.

Oz---out


Thanks Ozzie - I searched AP and couldn't find any stories. Same with YouTube - no videos from Bermuda?
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Just a thought Klaus retired in 1990
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Good morning! Erika remains the same and the NHC mentioned the area off the coast of Africa.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
This looks like the center is 15 62 ish. Can't miss it looks like its collapsing. Lol.

Link
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The news said that erika isn't going to last the whole day....
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Looks like recon may circle Guadeloupe on this pass...Hopefully....
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Erika looks full of surprises.



[Erika - 9-3-09 - 4 A.M.]

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Quoting yonzabam:



The GFDL and SHIPS models still have Erika intensifying aggressively and she still has winds of 40 mph. Bit premature with the obituary, I think.

If only the models could see the absent mach 3 shear in the lower levels of the Atlantic. This is an El Nino season. I hope one day the models will be able to ingest these type of patterns with years like this. They would be more reliable on picking up actual real threat storms and their intensity could be improved in advance as well.
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Of course since I said all of that, Erika will probably end up doing the complete opposite which would make this discussion null and void, so I will state again that Erika is in a very complicated atmospheric environment and this is a very low confidence forecast.

LOL. This about says it all. Gotta love this storm. :)

Link
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Quoting NJNorEaster:
Any word from Ozzie?


Hey

Tried hard to get up Hwy 1 yesterday to Cuidad Conceptione, but I could not find a ride.

Drat...

Leaving Cabo this AM. Back home this PM

I did get some good footage at Cerritos Beach.

Once home, I'll get Experience Hurricane Jimena in the can and on YouTube for everyone.

Oz---out
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2475. IKE
Looking at the GFS at 90 hours and the setup, I wouldn't be surprised if the remnants of Erika make it into the GOM next week like the New Orleans met was saying in the morning discussion I posted from their office.
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Quoting markymark1973:
R.I.P. Erika. Welcome to the year of the shear. It's hard for storms to form in both low and mid level shear. She was a fighter. I give the GFS a big thumbs up. It showed her weak and turning into a remnant low. Exactly what is happening in front of our eyes. I have a feeling most of the shear in the western atlantic will be hanging around for a little while. Something is going to get lucky down the road and get some decent conditions.



The GFDL and SHIPS models still have Erika intensifying aggressively and she still has winds of 40 mph. Bit premature with the obituary, I think.
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2472. JRRP
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2471. IKE
FDA says residue is frog or toad; how did it get in Pepsi can?.......disgusting story.


GFS has remnants of Erika heading through the Bahamas, heading toward south Florida and the Keys.
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Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning,

Erika seems to be approaching, winds are gusting here enough blow leaves off trees and we had a shower of rain earlier but seems the strongest convection has not reach us as yet.
we have thunder and lightning over here but no rain
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URNT12 KNHC 031004
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL062009
A. 03/09:49:00Z
B. 16 deg 47 min N
062 deg 56 min W
C. 850 mb 1502 m
D. NA
E. NA
F. 022 deg 16 kt
G. 263 deg 39 nm
H. 1009 mb
I. 19 C / 1524 m
J. 19 C / 1525 m
K. 13 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 134 / 8
O. 0.02 / 6 nm
P. AF307 0406A ERIKA OB 11
MAX FL WIND 35 KT N QUAD 07:23:30Z
MAX FL TEMP 20 C 262 / 28 NM FROM FL CNTR
Pathetic. Looks like a TD now.
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Not sure Erika's really done yet. Though it's barely holding on, you never know with this one.. could have tricks up her sleeve.
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What the remnants of Danny currently look like...
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Any word from Ozzie?
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Tropical Update
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Good Morning,

Erika seems to be approaching, winds are gusting here enough blow leaves off trees and we had a shower of rain earlier but seems the strongest convection has not reach us as yet.
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The wind is so still here in St.Maarten, hardly a leaf moving. Sea is a little rough though, only a light shower of rain, just slightly overcast.
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2459. IKE
Latest GFS has remnants of Erika approaching the SE Bahamas in 60 hours.
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R.I.P. Erika. Welcome to the year of the shear. It's hard for storms to form in both low and mid level shear. She was a fighter. I give the GFS a big thumbs up. It showed her weak and turning into a remnant low. Exactly what is happening in front of our eyes. I have a feeling most of the shear in the western atlantic will be hanging around for a little while. Something is going to get lucky down the road and get some decent conditions.
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2456. IKE
System emerging off of Africa looks mighty impressive.

Odds are it's the next named storm. Odds are it goes north of the islands if it develops and never makes it to the USA based on the weather pattern we've seen all summer.
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Quoting poknsnok:



Erika is on here way to wave status


Or, the center is jumping back to the E...Not telling which...She is a odd one for sure!
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Vort, there is essentially nothing in the way of winds on the S or E side of that circulation they are finding. If that is all there is to Erika, she is in real trouble. Hoping that recon will fly further E and at least investigate. Not this pass though.



Erika is on here way to wave status
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Vort, there is essentially nothing in the way of winds on the S or E side of that circulation they are finding. If that is all there is to Erika, she is in real trouble. Hoping that recon will fly further E and at least investigate. Not this pass though.
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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES LA
254 AM CDT THU SEP 3 2009

.SYNOPSIS...

THE SOUTHERN EXTENSION OF THE MIDWEST HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE WILL
REMAIN IN PLACE ACROSS THE NORTHWEST GULF OF MEXICO. A STATIONARY
FRONT MARKS THE OUTER PERIPHERY OF THIS COOL PRESSURE SYSTEM
...DRAPING NEAR A LINE FROM SOUTH OF BROWNSVILLE TO MARINE POINT
25N88W THROUGH TAMPA BAY TO JUST OFFSHORE THE CAROLINA COAST.

THE BERMUDA HIGH RE-BUILDING ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA ON FRIDAY...WILL
SHOVE THE STATIONARY FRONT NORTHWARD AS A WARM FRONT.

THE DIFFUSING WARM FRONT WILL ARRIVE OVER THE COASTAL WATERS ON
SATURDAY WHERE IT SUBSEQUENTLY WASHES OUT.

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2448. IKE
New Orleans morning discussion...

"AS WE APPROACH THE WEEKEND...BAROCLINICITY WILL INCREASE OVER THE
OZARKS. THIS SHOULD HELP BRING MOISTURE AND THE OLD FRONAL
BOUNDARY BACK NORTH JUST A BIT. SH/TS WILL MOVE IN FROM THE GULF STARTING
SAT MORNING. THIS LARGE MOISTURE FLUX DOES NOT STOP BUT DEEPENS AS
WE GET INTO SUN AND MON.

.LONG TERM...
THE OTHER ADDITION TO ALL THIS IS AN EASTERLY WAVE THAT HAS SO FAR
BEEN RELATIVELY INERT. IT IS CURRENTLY LOCATED AT ABOUT 80W. THIS
FEATURE WILL MOVE THROUGH THE GULF ALMOST UNDETECTED UNTIL IT
BEGINS TO COLLIDE AND REACT WITH THE OLD FRONTAL BOUNDARY LATE SAT.
A GOOD BIT OF CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY SHOULD DEVELOP FROM THIS AND
MOVE ON STORM MOTION VECTORS TO THE NE. A SFC LOW MAY EVEN DEVELOP
ALONG THE OLD BOUNDARY AND MOVE NE THROUGH THE COASTAL WATERS SUN
AND MON. THIS SFC LOW LOOKS TILTED SOMWHAT BACK TO THE WEST AND
EVEN HAS A SFC TROUGH ATTACHED WHICH RELATES MORE WITH A BAROCLINIC
SYSTEM THAN A TRUE TROPICAL ONE...BUT HAS A STRONG DEEP TROPICAL
FETCH THAT IT TAKES FULL ADVANTAGE OF. THIS WILL ALL CAUSE A
STRONG UPPER VORT TO DROP TO THE BASE OF THE CURRENT UPPER LONG
WAVE TROUGH REINFORCING IT A BIT.

THEN ENTERS ERIKA OR THE REMNANTS THEREOF TUE INTO WED. THE ERIKA
MESS GETS PICKED UP BY THE LONG WAVE TROUGH AND USHERS IT
NORTHWARD. THIS IN TURN CAUSES A HUGE MASS OF DENSE COOL DRY AIR
TO BE DISPLACED FROM WELL NORTH OF THE AREA AND MOVE SOUTH. A
HUGE(WINTERLIKE) UPPER TROUGH THEN BEGINS TO DEVELOP AND DROPS
WELL INTO THE GULF BY FRI OF NEXT WEEK WITH ONE OF THE STRONGEST
TRUE COLD FRONTS SEEN IN A WHILE FOR THIS EARLY IN SEP. CONFIDENCE
IS FAIRLY HIGH WITH THIS UPPER TROUGH FEATURE DEVELOPING AND MORE
OR LESS WITH THE FINAL PATH OF ERIKA."

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Anyone have the 5 EST update?
duh, I just need to look at the previous post,
I need coffee
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Morning all,

While it will likely take visible and other data to confirm a new center, I am guessing that Erika has once again moved hers....This buoy should tell visible and this buoy will be a dead give away in the next few hours.
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Well, if you love weather this one's your girl. Lol. It's been a weird trip so far. Who knows where she'll take us next. At least we might get there a little faster. lol
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i just love watching the weather...i've lived in tallahassee all my life...and from what my parents told me when i was around 1 or 2 when hurricane kate came through here i was standing at the glass door amazed_totally enthralled...i was good at getting out of my crib ;).....staying weak has helped this storm significantly....it's like it knows where the warm water is....and its gonna find it....i can see this storm being a cat 3-4 in a couple days scooting by the keys and into the gulf with a very weak steering environment...horrible for forcasters....but great to watch the minute environmental changes....still shocked we don't put more $ as government into studying this shit better.
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Thanks, docrod... that's a real convection mess, isn't it? :P

Still, we'll see, as I still think that particular rotation will jack up once it passes Martinique. Would be very nice to get some reports from there, though.

Night...

Jo
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Quoting wishcasterfromfsu:
even though my name has wishcaster in it-i"m not one- models are all off...this storm is gonna make a name for itself...defying all the models- its staying relatively weak, moving due west....it might make the skip in between cuba and the keys, strengthening substantially once it hits the gulf stream....watch out GOM....just my thoughts....the front going across florida is now retrograding....very weakly...there is no way the front will pull weak-for-now erika anywhere...these are the most devastating storms....the ones that stay weak and reorganize themselves slowly.... katrina did this....but i'm worried for tampa bay....any thoughts anyone?


FWIW. I don't know if it would hit Tampa it would need to get up there fast. I think. I'm going on the premise that the GOM ridge is going to be strong and meet up with the Atlantic ridge. Across Florida. But I'm not sure how far down FL so you may have a point.
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Oh, okay, VortMax, that was the only serious rotation I saw in the radar image, but there could be others that you can see.

But I honestly can't help but think that now, for better or worse, we have a real storm here, and that in about five hours it's going to be much more obvious where the center is.

Well, need to go get my four hours of sleep. Night all, and my thanks to those who responded to my posts. :)

Jo
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mspher nice! i love blobs...
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2438. docrod
Quoting flibinite:
No, go look at Dr. Master's Martinique radar link up above. A very definite rotation over Guadalupe now... right over the island.

Jo


Recommended link - here is a long recording of Erika's approach (speed it up a little once it downloads) - take care - Link
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2437. msphar
No thoughts from me, I'm going to bed now. My interest lies about one blob width to the west of the North blob after that, its history.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.